DOE launches L Prize to speed development of LED replacement lamps

The competition will award significant cash prizes, plus opportunities for federal purchasing agreements, utility programs, and other incentives for winning products.

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The DOE's David Rodgers and several California utility representatives introduced the DOE Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize competition at LightFair 2008 last week.

The so-called "L" Prize was included in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) signed at the end of 2007 - see Prize fund provides $20 m incentive to develop efficient LED lamps.

The L Prize is the first government-sponsored technology competition designed to spur lighting manufacturers to develop high quality, high efficiency solid-state lighting products to replace the common light bulb.

"This is the beginning of the end for the common light bulb," Rodgers said. He added that the DOE's ultimate prize winners will be reaching "a target beyond what is currently built."

Lprize Logo
The competition challenges industry to develop replacement technologies for two of today's most widely used and inefficient technologies: 60W incandescent lamps and PAR 38 halogen lamps.

It also calls for development of a 21st Century Lamp that delivers more than 150 lm/W.

The competition will award significant cash prizes, plus opportunities for federal purchasing agreements, utility programs, and other incentives for winning products.

The competition also includes a rigorous evaluation process for proposed products that is designed to detect and address product weaknesses before market introduction, to avoid problems with long-term market acceptance. Comprehensive product evaluation will include performance and lifetime testing conducted by independent laboratories, field assessments conducted in collaboration with utilities and other partners, and stress testing under extreme conditions.

For more information on competition requirements and product evaluation, go to the DOE web site, www.lightingprize.org.

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